Adam Levitan

Football Daily Dose

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No Nicks, No Problem

Friday, September 21, 2012


Fantasy owners didn’t have Hakeem Nicks or Ahmad Bradshaw Thursday night. If they plugged in Ramses Barden and Andre Brown, they fared as well as the Giants did.

Frankly, the Panthers’ defense should be humiliated. We knew they were bad, but this was a Sylvester Stallone in Rocky V kind of performance. It stank.

Brown has a ruptured Achilles’ tendon on his resume, is a pedestrian runner and has been cut by the Giants, Broncos, Colts, Panthers and Redskins in the last three years. He shredded Carolina for 113 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries. It puts even more space between Brown and rookie David Wilson, who got two touches in the entire game.

Barden is in his fourth year and came into the game with 16 career catches. At a slender 6-foot-6, he always struggled to get off press coverage and gain separation. That didn’t stop him from getting open at will on deep ins and put a 9/138/0 line on the Panthers.

Spot-starters can rejoice in their glory, but the long-term expectations here need to stay low. The injuries to Nicks and Bradshaw aren’t considered overly serious and the Giants won’t get the Panthers every week. If pressed into starting roles against the Eagles in Week 4, Brown and Barden would find real defenders in their way.

GIANTS AT PANTHERS RANDOM THOUGHTS
* Cam Newton played as bad as he can possibly play. He threw behind receivers, stared them down and missed open guys. He still compiled 10.2 fantasy points. It’s the definition of a high fantasy floor.
* Hakeem Nicks reportedly did not have setback with his foot. He was just simply too sore to play and be effective. It’s good news for owners.
* Martellus Bennett racked up a 6/73/1 line on seven targets. He’s for real in this offense.
* Steve Smith was eaten up by Corey Webster early. All of his stats came in garbage time.
* Brandon LaFell caught just one ball, but he separated with ease all night long. Cam Newton just missed him. Don’t jump ship.

NEWS OF THE DAY #1
Much like Hakeem Nicks, Greg Jennings (groin) sat out last Thursday’s game so he could get an extra 10 days of rest. Things don’t always go according to plan.

Jennings’ groin hasn’t responded as the Packers have hoped, leading to what can only be described as a setback. According to coach Mike McCarthy, Jennings “doesn’t feel like he has a handle on (the injury) yet.” He sat out Thursday’s practice, putting his Week 3 status in serious doubt.

The Packers do play on Monday night, but owners probably won’t be able to wait for a potential game-time call. It’s time to explore other options.

NEWS OF THE DAY #2
At first, the Chiefs said Jamaal Charles left the Week 2 loss early because of soreness in his surgically repaired knee. Now, they’re saying he sustained a knee bruise.

"He fell on his knee, got bruised, came up limping, so we took him out rather than leave him in there and expose him a little bit more," coach Romeo Crennel said. "Then as it developed, the other players were doing decent, so we didn't feel a need to put him back at that moment."

Either way, Charles put in a full practice on Thursday. It’s a great sign that he’ll at least get double-digit touches in Sunday’s game against the Saints.

NEWS OF THE DAY #3
Malcom Floyd says his body feels better now than it ever has. That’s a bold statement for a 31 year old, but it’s telling.

Floyd has been one of the more injury prone wideouts around. That’s caused him to become underrated. At 6’5/225 with excellent hands and good speed, Floyd is shaping up as a solid WR2 all year long. Robert Meachem just isn’t clicking with Philip Rivers like the Chargers hoped.

DEPTH CHART QUICK SLANTS
Trent Richardson isn’t playing on third downs right now, but OC Brad Childress suggested that will eventually change. … Daniel Thomas (concussion) returned and quickly moved ahead of Lamar Miller. He’s better in pass protection. … The Ravens have moved Dennis Pitta ahead of Ed Dickson on their official depth chart. The move was already made on the field. … Javon Ringer said he expects to have a small role behind Chris Johnson Sunday. … The Raiders aren’t going to move away from their new zone-blocking scheme. It’s bad news for Darren McFadden, but the schedule will get soft starting in Week 4.

INJURY QUICK SLANTS: RUNNING BACKS AND TIGHT ENDS
Ryan Mathews (clavicle) put in another full practice. He’s ready to rock. … Ryan Williams (knee) is limited right now. He’s well behind Beanie Wells. … Steven Jackson (groin) missed practice again. If he plays Sunday, he’s unlikely to be 100 percent. … Matt Forte (ankle) remains sidelined. Lock in Michael Bush. … Antonio Gates (ribs) almost played last week. Now he’s practicing in full. … Dustin Keller (hamstring) got in a limited practice.

INJURY QUICK SLANTS: WIDE RECEIVERS AND QUARTERBACKS
Austin Collie (concussions) practiced in full again. Don’t believe he’ll get into a game until we see it. … Pierre Garcon (foot) is headed for a game-time call. … Marques Colston (foot) is playing through pain but has been on the verge of big games in two straight weeks. … Jeremy Maclin (hip) got in a limited practice. He’s headed for a game-time call if he makes the flight to Arizona.



Adam Levitan is in his fifth season covering football and basketball for Rotoworld. He won the Fantasy Sports Writers Association award for Best Series in 2011 and 2009, and ESPN's overall fantasy football title in 2000. Find him on Twitter.
Email :Adam Levitan


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